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Bureaucrats have been trying to make us call them "collective investment schemes" for the past decade. I prefer their standard international name, "mutual funds". But the SA public prefers the quaint British term "unit trusts". Whatever they are called, in good markets and bad, the public appetite for them keeps growing. Even though the majority of funds lost money in 2018, there were net inflows of R94bn, only just below the R100bn of the year before. With softer markets, though, there was a R10bn fall in total assets to R2.24-trillion. By now I would have hoped that unit trusts would be a popular option among the Old Mutual Mass & Foundation Cluster sales force and its competitors at Sanlam Sky and Metropolitan. Unit trusts were, after all, designed for regular savers. But they have been ignored in the mass market in favour of more opaque life endowment-based products. Yet unit trusts were designed for prudent regular savers, now the target market of the tax-free savings accounts....

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